It’s been a hard day at my house. Yesterday afternoon, a dear friend of mine of 35 years said “I love you,” to her husband, Steve, and took her last drive. She rounded her last curve in McMinnville, Tennessee and collided with another lady who was also taking her last drive, albeit in the wrong lane of that road. Carol Corlew Boyd, whom Glenn and I have affectionately called “Corlew” for all these years, was taken from that little convertible by the angels and she is home and happy. But, oh, when a life is so well-lived, the hole death leaves in the lives of family left behind is massive and debilitating. It just hurts me to know how Steve and those kids are suffering.
It has to be a very painful hurt when you know the only thing that could hurt more is the worst and most permanent hurt of all…the hurt of eternity without hope. Hope is what will keep Steve, Allison, Tyler and Daniel going. It will make them hold on. It will give them purpose. It will be the survival mechanism. It is hard for us, in the family of God to know what people who say excruciatingly sudden goodbyes do without hope. Perhaps that is why they, almost always, manufacture a synthetic hope in death, when one actually never existed in life.
With my friend’s leaving, there’s nothing synthetic. There’s nothing plastic about the expectation of sitting around the throne of God one day with Carol. It’s a happening thing and in a thousand years, the lapse of time between her death and all of ours will seem as a brief moment.
So tonight, I’m taking a few minutes to look back through recent correspondence between Carol and me. If you don’t understand or see the value in this, it’s okay. I guess it’s not really for you tonight. It’s for me. These are some of my favorite quotes from our letters. I can’t wait to see Corlew in a place where I can sing “Abide With Me” like we did at Bible Study tonight and God will have already wiped all of tonight’s tears away.
The Top 20 Corlew Quotes: (I know why I love her so much. We just had a ton of favorite stuff in common. And our least favorite things were definitely the same…)
“Yay for houses with character!”
“Is your cabin available?”
“I hate the devil.”
“We continue to pray that the scars will be useful in some way in the future.”
“I work on bridling my tongue.”
“Allison and I watched old movies by the fire.”
” ‘Take time for a fun spring break with your kids’….Ha! This is one thing I sure won’t need to be told!”
“I’m already planning the grocery list and meals! Daniel is always glad when I cook.”
“I can’t take any credit (except for knowing how to upload to Facebook)…God has graciously given the scenery and creatures and Steve is the nature photographer! We do love our views though!”
“We don’t really have a “plan” which is the beauty of this trip.”
“Maybe we can have a cup of coffee (decaf!) and some conversation Sat. night.”
“Learning to understand themselves and bring their uniqueness in line with work in the kingdom sometimes takes extra work and time but inevitably gives ‘meaning to life.’
“I’ve been thinking of you and praying for all of your preparation.”
“You’ll need to change your little ‘about me’ box now that you changed your profile pic, otherwise it looks like your daughter is your grandmother. I think there’s a country song about that.”
“Aren’t the trees nice and full”…”My favorite quote from The Andy Griffith Show episode “Opie the Birdman”!
“His (Daniel’s) growing up bedroom will be empty. Now, why did he have to remind me of that?! Bittersweet.”
“Keep on keepin’ on!”
“I appreciated your lesson on Mary Magdalene and share your excitement over her SEEING the gospel!”
“I think you should come see me for calm and peace.”
“A few months ago Chad and Rose (Bill’s oldest) visited in the middle of several activities around here. I had rushed around and made beds, cooked food, threw things in closets etc…and then took a deep breath and sat down to a nice supper. It evidently fooled them. Chad said, “It is always so “cozy” when we come to McMinnville…rather like Mayberry”. (I felt like the The Andy Griffith Show episode “Sermon for the Day” where they worked so hard for the relaxing band concert). Ha.”
“If you could possibly work it into your schedule, some rest would probably be very beneficial.”
p.s. I am going to work that “rest” into my schedule…I think I will go see her one of these days “for some calm and peace.”